Consumers utilize a ball and lead screws because of their ability to combine control with reduced friction. Some industries that rely on these mechanisms include robotics, automotive manufacturing, military and defense, and aerospace. Ball screw manufacturers are experts in knowing which materials are used in ball and lead screw manufacturing to apply to these respective industries and how these applications provide solutions in engineering.
Ball Screw Materials
The materials for a ball screw vary based on application demands. The shaft’s construction is always a form of steel or stainless steel. On the other hand, the ball nut can vary from plastic to metal, and sometimes both. Manufacturers need to be mindful of a few things when thinking big picture:
- The type of load, whether static or dynamic
- The weight of the load
- The necessary critical speed
- Environmental elements
- Usage frequency
- Mounting application
After evaluating these considerations, a manufacturer can assess appropriate materials in addition to the shape of the ball nut, coatings and lubrication, and the diameter of the ball nut.
Lead Screw Materials
When considering a lead screw, the pre-requisite process is similar to a ball screw: the back driver’s diameter, load capacity, and torque play a role in the sizing process. The functions of a lead screw are applicable in harsh environments, including those impossible for a ball screw.
One of the main reasons for a lead screw withstanding harsher environments is their material selection. Lead screw nuts use a wide material selection from bronze and a multitude of plastics, and their shaft can vary in material as well with things like carbon steel, aluminum, and stainless steel.
Lead screws generally have a surface coating that protects them from contamination of the environment. Typically, a manufacturer will use a PTFE-based coating. This coating allows a lead screw to withstand harsh environments and supplies a lubricant to the nut, further eliminating the need for oil or grease.
Wedin International understands the varying materials used in ball and lead screw manufacturing, and we offer repair and manufacturing applications. Contact us today!